Five Rule Changes “Wheel of Fortune” Needs to Be Better

Everything needs improvement, even the game show Wheel of Fortune, so here’s some rule changes The Grump would like to see…

  1. Cannot guess vowels 2 times in a row. Guess a vowel, then you have to guess a consonant before you are allowed to guess another vowel.
  2. Vacation prizes should not count toward the person’s winnings for getting to the final round.  It’s not fair to the other contestants as the vacation almost always seals the deal and shuts everybody else out.
  3. With the exception of the million dollar prize panel, Bankrupt should count for that puzzle round only.  In other words, if you win a “Wild Card” in puzzle one, landing on Bankrupt in puzzle 3 would have no effect, you get to keep the Wild Card.
  4. Any ‘free ride’ (guessing without contestants spinning the wheel), i.e. Express, Toss-ups, etc., should be consonants only.
  5. The letters K, Q, X, and Z, should be double value… including in the final round for the entire prize money, but only if you called it in your added letters.

Some added suggestions, but not totally necessary.

  • Game shows should be legally required to pay taxes on all winnings.
  • Require contestants to “bet the house”, put something up of value like in gambling.  That’d make it interesting.  I could hear it now… contestant loses, Pat says, “Ok, guys, take away the furniture!”

Thoughts?

25 People I Hate

“Hate” is such a strong word.  It is often hyperbole, and in the interest of honesty and fairness, I don’t actually hate these people… well, mostly… but they are damned annoying and need to be told so.  So, without further ado, I hate…

  1. People who hate lists like this.  You go do your happy-happy-joy-joy fantasy world elsewhere and leave me to my grumpiness.
  2. Iowa drivers (a common theme here), whether they’re driving a car on the road or a cart in the grocery store.  They’ll hog the left lane under the speed limit, or they’ll leave their cart in the middle of the aisle and wander off.  They have no clue there is someone behind them who wants to get somewhere.
  3. People who see a question on Facebook or in Amazon and respond with, “I don’t know.”  😐  Then the question wasn’t for you, was it, Slick?
  4. People who say “perfect” to every response.  I once had a receptionist in the doctors office ask me my phone number.  After I told her she said, “Perfect.”  😐  Of course it’s ‘perfect’, it’s my phone number and I know it.
  5. People who complain about ‘reply all’.  I’m sorry, but ‘reply all’ is a ‘cover my ass’ feature and has it’s place.  (Just don’t use it willy nilly.)
  6. People who say, “I hate Mondays.”, and, “Thank God it’s Friday.”
  7. Servers who abandon me and don’t check to see if I want a drink refill.
  8. Anything labeled “for your protection”.  It’s almost always for their protection, not mine.
  9. Non-fans at baseball games.  Baseball was so much better when only baseball fans went to games.  Now it’s all about entertainment and dot racing.
  10. People who don’t understand sarcasm.
  11. People who feel the need to “one up” everything someone else does.  (On a serious note, I think it’s a sign of insecurity.)
  12. 60 year old people still trying to look 20 yrs old.
  13. People afraid of the number 13.
  14. People who say, “Thanks for the add.” when approved to join Facebook groups.  Did you really think you’d be declined?
  15. People who won’t commit to something when invited.  You know the person, the one who says, “Sure, unless something better comes up.”
  16. Men who have “Man Caves”.
  17. Women who like Hello Kitty.
  18. People who show up to buy an item you’re selling for $50 then say, “I only have $40 on me.”  Sorry, Skippy, I can direct you to an ATM.  You knew damn well what the asking price is, and we didn’t make a prior agreement, so this is simply you being dishonest.
  19. People who look for a reason to be offended.
  20. People who, in social conversation, always swing the conversation back to themself.
  21. People who forget the “good old days” had their sucky parts, too.
  22. People driving huge vehicles and you watch them and it’s clear they really don’t know how to drive it.
  23. Men who walk in public around shirtless.  I’m sorry, that’s tacky.  Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
  24. People who don’t know how to park.
  25. People like me.  Seriously.  I get along better with people who are not like me.  People like me annoy the hell out of me.

So there ya go.  Maybe there will be a part two, I don’t know yet.

What is a Patty Melt?

Well, how would YOU define what constitutes a patty melt?  A PROPER patty melt?

Based on several factors… my lengthy experience as a restaurant cook in several different locations, discussion I’ve had with others, items I’ve read, etc… the proper definition of a patty melt comes down to this…

  • Hamburger patty
  • Swiss cheese
  • Grilled onions
  • Grilled rye bread

That’s it.  Some people like to add 1000 Island Dressing, but that’s an addition.  Same with bacon.  Now, I prefer to have it on toasted sourdough bread (or whole wheat, not a big fan of rye), but I openly acknowledge that’s a deviation from a proper patty melt.  I will also add bacon on occasion.  If they add 1000 that’s ok, but I prefer to dip it in ketchup.  Some also like to substitute cheddar or American cheese, both of which are fine, but I prefer Swiss.

Now, as you can see from my dislikes and dislikes, you can certainly deviate according to your personal preferences, but what is outlined above is the starting point of a proper patty melt.

What brings this up is there is a local restaurant… which shall remain nameless… with a patty melt on the menu.  Problem is, both grilled onion AND grilled rye bread are an upcharge, each individually.  What the deuce kind of cheapness is that?  That’s not a patty melt, that’s no more than a hamburger on bread, and if you want a patty melt you have to build one.  (Fries/sides are also extra, basically everything ala carte.*)

As a second source you could check out this Definition of a Patty Melt.

*- To be fair, some places cater to an older clientele, and many older people like the option of ordering smaller, only what they want.  But one place, another local place (now closed permanently) would charge $9 for am omelette & toast only, same as what other places would charge for an omelette, toast, and hash browns, then make you still pay extra for hash browns.

The Case Against Hamilton Burger

Upfront Disclaimer:  This blog post pertains to the television program from the 1950s & 1960s starring Raymond Burr and others.  Not the books or any other television programs or movies.

Ok, for those of you unfamiliar with the Perry Mason television program none of this will mean anything to you, so I feel no obligation to explain it all and provide loads of background.  Cut your loses now and click on to the next post.  For those of you who are familiar with the program this will make sense, though you may strongly disagree with my premise here.  Hamilton is very popular among Perry Mason fans, and for good reason, he does indeed have some endearing qualities, but that’s not what I’m kvetching about.

Hamilton Burger is incompetent.  There, I said it.  In the series Hamilton Burger (played by William Talman shown in the photo at right) is the Los Angeles District Attorney (DA) who almost always goes up against Perry Mason (defense attorney), and I claim is a very bad, a very poor, attorney.  And that’s what fans will disagree with me about.  But here’s my evidence, circumstantial as it may be…

  1. The premise goes that only a competent attorney could ever be a DA, hence Hamilton must be a competent attorney.  But… he loses pretty much every case.  Against Perry, at least, but isn’t that enough?  No competent attorney would have that bad a record against a single adversary.
  2. Maybe he wins against all the other attorneys, people say.  Ok, then if his record is consistent, and he continually prosecutes innocent people against Perry, then he sends a lot of innocent people to prison when he faces others, and he would send a lot more if Perry weren’t so good.  Hardly inspiring.
  3. Even in the five or six episodes with a “guest defense attorney”, when Raymond Burr was out with a real-life injury, Hamilton still loses to every single one of them.  Yes, it’s just a tv show, but c’mon…

Some like to point out Hamilton is interested in truth and justice and not winning… which highlights the “it’s only a tv show” aspect because real life certainly wouldn’t be that way, and it still doesn’t excuse his overall inadequacy as a prosecutor.

Some also like to speculate he wins most other cases, but we have no evidence for that.  All we have to go by is what we see in the show, and it shows constant ineptitude.  Sorry, I calls ’em as I see’s ’em.  In other words, Hamilton Burger is… wait for it… irrelevant, incompetent, and immaterial.

Rant: Stadium Naming

How much importance do you place in stadium names? How much effort do you put into keeping up?

For example, Yankee Stadium is Yankee Stadium. Say “Yankee Stadium” and everyone knows what you’re talking about. Same with Dodger Stadium. Even Wrigley Field is named after people and/or corporation, and Fenway Park is named after the neighborhood it is in, but they still have long-standing history and and tradition and are immediately recognizable.

But what about the more recent trend of stadium names changing every few years based on nothing more than who is willing to pay the most money? Guaranteed Rate Field, anyone? Third name for the same place, btw. I still call it Comiskey Park. If you were to walk up to me and mention a game in Truist Park I’d have to ask you which team or city. No lie. “Truist Park” means nothing to me.

I still call Oracle Park “Pac Bell Park”… it never had a legit name so I go with the first brain dead iteration. Oracle is what, the 4th or 5th iteration? I am a long-time Oakland A’s fan, yet as far as I am concerned they still play in the Oakland Coliseum (I know, originally Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, I’m not doing tongue-twisters, either), and always will. O.co, my ass.

Basically, stadiums names have become absurd and for the most part meaningless. When the name right’s holder sends me a check I will comply. Until then I feel zero obligation… Braves Field it is.

Thanks for… nothing, really

Anyone on Facebook for more than a day has noticed this trend:  People apply to join a closed group, and once they’re approved will create an initial post that says something like…

Thanks for the add

😐

In true Grump fashion I have to ask:  Why is this necessary?  Ok, it’s… nice.  It’s polite.  It doesn’t hurt anything… except forcing everyone to spend time and knuckle muscles to scroll by that tripe.  But is it necessary?  Does it help anything?

One has to wonder… what are they really trying to say?  They’re such a renown a-hole known the world over they’re literally surprised any group would actually accept them?  Shocking even to them.

My grandpa used to say if someone goes out of their way to tell you what a horrible person they are… believe them.  Hmmm… maybe they should be denied.

Rant: How strong are your convictions?

Facebook is many things to many people, and one of those things Facebook is is something of a political discussion forum, like it or not.  People post their particular views, other people respond, and all that’s fine as long as people aren’t abusive.  And here’s the rub, some take forceful responses as something they aren’t prepared to deal with.

Call me crazy, but I would think if all you want is a forum from which to spout your opinion, and are too thinned-skinned to suffer feedback, then maybe a public forum like Facebook isn’t for you.  You should probably start a private blog instead of creating something like a public Facebook account which is designed specifically to be interactive.

Here’s a hint: If you post something that other people can read, those other people may respond… and they may not agree with you. Shocking, I know.  Grow a thicker skin and get over it.  If you find yourself blocking or unfriending people over it, maybe your convictions aren’t as strong as you think they are.

/rant off

The Unnecessary Hyperbole of “Perfect”

There’s a chain steakhouse nearby and all the servers are obsessed with “perfect”.  For example, you’re eating your meal and the server comes by to check on you and instead of asking, “How is everything?”, they ask, “Is everything perfect?”

😐

First off, nothing is ‘perfect’.  Second, it puts me in a corner.  The first option is open-ended and I get to set my own standard.  In the second option I have to either agree it’s perfect or come off as I’m complaining, because anything less than ‘perfect’… i.e. ‘very good’… is somehow less than acceptable.  And we/they know most people don’t want to complain, so we’re pressured into giving impeccable reviews.  (I suspected at the time management told servers to do this because they all did it.)  The Grump’s response?:  “It’s very good.”

 perfect: adjective

Definition of perfect

(Entry 1 of 3)
1a : being entirely without fault or defect

https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/perfect

It’s become ubiquitous.  Now I can’t talk to anyone without this word coming up.  I go to the doctor and they ask me to verify my information.  “What’s your phone number?”

“867-5309”

“Perfect.”

-facepalm-  Is that really necessary?  All I did was answer correctly.  If my number had changed would it have been less than perfect?

Stop the insane hyperbole.

Toughness

The Grump is a watcher, an observer, and this year has been really screwed up.  Watching people and how they react to adversity has been… interesting… to say the least.  Literally every month so far there’s been some event or incident to test people, but we’re going to focus only on two examples.

The Events and Resulting Issues

Coronavirus / Covid-19:  There are several measures to fight the spread the virus such as “social distancing”, quarantining, mask wearing, and so on.  Mask wearing, in particular, seems to have triggered the most extreme reactions.  Most people are complying pretty well.  Most people understand mask wearing helps slow the spread.  Most people understand others may not be as physically resistant as they are and are willing to help keep them as safe as possible.

Then there’s people who don’t seem to care about others at all.  Then there’s people who have turned it into a political issue… who claim the Constitution yet clearly have no clue what the Constitution actually says.

Then we had the derecho earlier this month:  The devastation has been incredible.  Hundreds of thousands of people were without power for varying times.  Some were up right away.  As of 14 days afterward 99% of people had been restored.  We were without power for six days, for example.  Which leads us to…

The Observations and Those Issues

With covid and masks those refusing to wear masks whined and complained and made up excuses as to why they shouldn’t have to, others be damned.  It’s hot.  My glasses fog up.  I have breathing issues (which I personally suspect 90% of people making this claim are flat-out lying).

With the deracho most people have been pretty stoic, riding it out, adapting as necessary, figuring out workarounds to normal life, etc.  But I also kept reading on Facebook things like… I don’t have AC… it’s hot (it was warm, it wasn’t hot)… after two days some people started complaining how long it was taking to get power re-established, and so on.

The Question and Conclusion

Have we lost all sense of toughness?  Can we really not hang for a week or so without power when extreme circumstances call for it?  This does not bode well for our society, IMO.

Now, some are reading this and thinking, “Sure, Grump, but what about the elderly and the ill and others not as well off as you?”

Of course those people exist and are less equipped to handle adversities like this.  I’m not talking about those people.  And there are people who suffered greater losses than I did with the derecho, like the complete destruction of their homes.  I’m not talking about them, either.  Who I’m talking about is otherwise healthy and normal people who have had their lives interrupted and inconvenienced for sure, but in the grand scheme of things are not that bad off.

And for masks, you seriously can’t hang with wearing a mask for an hour or less?  Seriously?  You’re that weak?  Employees wear them for their entire shifts.  Suck it up, you only need to wear one in limited situations.

Be a little tougher.

 

Dogs: What’s in it for us?

b to f: Wesley, Roscoe, & Farley

Oh noes, The Grump as a soft side!  *gasp*  Horrors.  *sigh*  That soft side is dogs, and at the risk of outing himself, the Grump will be randomly pondering things about the love and bond between dogs and people.  Put yer seat belts on!

It seems like a totally one-way relationship, doesn’t it?

Think about it.  You feed your dog, they don’t feed you.  You brush your dog, they don’t brush you.  You pet your dog and rub their belly, they don’t pet you and they certainly don’t rub your belly.  If you’re sick you take them to the vet and make sure you get better… though I have had dogs that would lay next to me to comfort me if I’m sick even though they couldn’t do anything else.

Yet people love their dogs!

And that last part is what I’m getting at.  It’s more of a two-way street than is obvious on surface observation.  Dogs just make us feel good.  But how do they do that?  Well…

  1. When you come home after a long day at work your dog will try to break down all barriers to see you.  They’re sooooo happy to see you.  You won’t get that kind on outward unbridled excitement from any human.  The cat, meanwhile, is plotting your demise… as soon as it can figure out a continuing food supply.
  2. As mentioned above, if you’re in bed with the flu, your dog will lay by your side to comfort you.  There’s nothing they can physically do for you, but they can stay with you so you’re not alone.
  3. Dogs are fiercely loyal, even when they shouldn’t be.  But if you love them and treat them right you truly have a best friend.
  4. Last, let’s say you’re laying on the bed and you’re doing what I call “servicing” your dog, meaning you’re scratching their ear and head, petting them, rubbing their belly, and all that good stuff they never seem to tire of.  While you’re doing all this you can FEEL their love radiating back into you.  That’s powerful.

Now, I have no scientific evidence for all this, but I believe it to be true, and it makes it all worthwhile.